Sting defeat Knights in second half of pre-season home and home
There are times in life when you don’t really want to stand out.
Like when a comedian or a magician goes looking for a volunteer in the audience to help them with their show.
Or as the owner of the worst lawn on your street.
In each of those cases, it is best just to blend in.
On Saturday night in Sarnia, every player dressed for the London Knights wanted to avoid fading into the background. With every drafted Knight, plus overage forwards, Sam Miletic and Adrian Carbonara not dressing, the young guys had an opportunity to stand out, and while London lost the game 6-3, there were players who took advantage of their place in the line-up, and gave the coaching staff a good look at what they could do.
“I though they played a really good 40 minutes,” said Knights’ assistant coach, Dylan Hunter. “They kept up with (Jordan) Kyrou and (Drake) Rymsha and the other veterans. I think they got a little tired in the third and gave up a few chances in front that Sarnia buried, but it was a good lesson for them about playing a 60 minute game.
READ MORE: 2017-18 London Knights season preview
Billy Moskal picked up his second assist in as many Knights. He played 13 games for London last season and had a standout year in the GOJHL.
Richard Whittaker is also looking for a regular place in the London lineup. After scoring a goal, adding an assist and claiming first star honours on Friday, Whittaker scored again on Saturday, by snapping a shot home from the slot in the third period.
The Knights’ coaches and management got their first look at Lucas Rowe, their first round pick from 2017 and Hunter says they were happy to see his game translate to the next level.
“Rowe did a great job tonight carrying the puck through the middle like he did playing AAA last year when we drafted him.”
London’s third round pick in 2017, Dalton Duhart played his first pre-season game as well an earned the confidence of the coaches to help kill off a 5-on-3 Sarnia power play late in the game.
Liam Foudy is entering his second year and showed off his speed and burst several times in creating scoring chances.
On defence, Andrew Perrott, who the Knights nabbed in the second round in April, played for the second straight night and was put in every situation again.
“Perrott has been really steady,” said Hunter. “He looks like a veteran and isn’t afraid to get into certain situations that most young guys wouldn’t feel comfortable in and he takes them in stride.”
Second year forward, Josh Nelson opened the scoring for London on a 5-on-3 power play in the first period. The Knights were 3-for-5 with the man advantage. Evan Bouchard also scored a first period power play goal.
Jordan Kyrou, Adam Ruzicka, Drake Rymsha, Hugo Leufvenius, Jordan Ernst and Connor Schlicting scored for the Sting.
Overage goalie, Connor Hicks played the first half of the game for the Knights. Jordan Kooy played the second half. Kooy was the busier of the two, making 19 saves on 21 shots. Twice, Kooy went into the splits to rob Sarnia shooters.
The pre-season is only two games old, but Hunter is encouraged.
“It’s exciting to have a nice new group of young guys coming in to add to the core that we already have.”
The Knights defeated the Sting 7-4 on Friday at Budweiser Gardens. They will now have a thirteen day break from games before hosting Erie on September 15 at 7:30 p.m. London and the Otters will meet again on September 16 in Komoka to finish the Knights’ pre-season schedule.
London opens the regular season on September 22 at Budweiser Gardens in a game that brings together the past two Memorial Cup champions as the Knights host the Windsor Spitfires.
You can hear London Knights’ hockey all season on AM980, at AM980.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.